Lake George: The Fun Continues

Question: If a bear shits in the woods at 9,000 feet elevation on a side of a mountain, how long does it take for a 11 year old loving chocolate lab to find it and begin snarffing it down (at least 4 bites make it) before his owner catches up to him?

Answer: about 3 minutes.

The fun continues in our plan.  Today is a SPECIAL DAY for both of us.  This is the actual date that we set (7-17-17) to be completely untethered and experiencing a new life out on the planet…moving across it (albeit slowly) and soaking in all that we can.  We talked about it for years and then, on a birthday camping vacation near Cambria, we decided to stop talking and PICK A DATE.  Boy did that help us a lot.  Every single motion, action, penny…energy… we could focus it on our goal.  When things would get hairy and unfun, we reminded each other:  71717.  Then we’d laugh off the problem knowing that we were going to make this goal happen and dream about what was next.  

On that note, it is NOT exactly what we were dreaming.  Well, factually I can only speak for myself.  Randy will have to get his blog rolling with his thoughts.  I know he is having a great time (except for Kona eating bear poop this morning) because he is so dang relaxed, calmer than ever, anxious to be productive and do a good job at our current employment.

Back to “not exactly what we were dreaming”.

The Vet and his Assistant were INCREDIBLE. I will post their info later.
Zoey on the rebound. Had to use one of my headbands for a body suit to help her stop scratching.
That has everything to do with our beloved pets.  

Having two dogs and cat makes it difficult (especially when we were baking in Bishop on stand-by for Lake George).  Zoey got really sick and we had to visit TWO vets within a week.   The heat was just too much for her and we couldn’t find much relief (carrying her is a joke – she’s way too big for a backpack….we tried) so we can’t go far distances.     Piper (the cat) was bored to TEARS in Bishop so we began taking her with us on our visits up to Mammoth.  Come to find out:  SHE ACTUALLY WOULD JUST PREFER TO SLEEP ON THE FLOOR NEAR THE COOL AIR THAN JOIN US ON A TRIP.  Kona is just Kona.  He has one marble in his brain and when it falls out of the socket for “balance” and “good choices” we are doomed to find out the repercussions (thus giving us ANOTHER lesson in the same subject we are schooled in over and over and over).  We decided to leave him in the travel trailer (in Bishop) with the air blowing and a movie on (Uncle Buck).  We just needed to get groceries and stop for Wifi use at the only local brewery in town.  The entire living room, kitchen, den, office (sounds big, right? It is about 20′ by 30′, furniture included) was strewn with the trash that WE FORGOT TO TAKE OUT.  I think our brains were fried and that had to be why we made such a dumb mistake.   Took look at it on the bright side:  we had talked about making a checklist of things to do when leaving…and that got done THAT DAY.  Haven’t had the problem since.

Now we’re up in Lake George where it is 5O degrees cooler!!  50!!!  I am glad I kept a few long sleeve shirts.  Zoey’s recent trip to the vet was not cheap but it has resulted in a happier pup just bouncing around enjoying herself again.   

Our jobs are officially titled CAMP HOST.   

We have our travel trailer parked at the entrance area of the Lake George Campsite.  Question for our experienced RV friends:  WHEN WILL BACKING A TRAVEL TRAILER BE EASY AND STRESS FREE?  This one was super tough.  We did not have much room for error at all.  It took us about 8 attempts but we/Randy got that sucker tucked between giant pine trees, next to a bear box and picnic table PLUS far enough in to connect up the water, power and sewage.  Yep, he’s getting STUD POINTS in my book.  That. Was. Not. Easy.  I’m thankful we won’t be doing it again for a while.  

We work for a company called California Land Management (or CLM).   I have learned that the National Parks (I hope I am getting this straight) contract private companies to manage the campsites.  Just want to give a SHOUT OUT to these companies because I am now learning how much work is involved with giving you (the camper) an excellent experience.  I am halfway through our company handbook and I’m just amazed.  I had no idea what it took and now that I’m part of it I want to beg you: BE KIND TO THE PEOPLE MANAGING THE PARKS (whether they are at a private company or working for the Forest Service, National Parks…whatever). 

While it sucked waiting in Bishop to begin, the fact is that it was NECESSARY so the place would be absolutely SAFE for visitors to camp at our site.  The winter dropped 20 (at least) feet of snow on the mountain and it is still there melting.  The forest service people that I’ve met have been really professional.  I got to see a tree chopped down (John) and the inside of it was hollow.  Now I’m not going to be sad when a tree is chopped down “for a good reason”.  That tree would have killed someone and it was right near the pathway.  Those Forest Service people have their jobs cut out for them.  The water is another situation that had to be handled.  You can’t just  drink the water!  Well, you CAN but it is risky.  There is a government entity that actually takes responsibility for this being safe and as annoyed as anyone wants to get: they aren’t going to let you poison yourself.    I met another Forest Service worker yesterday named Jack.  He was getting the potable restroom cleaned then trying to get the bear boxes working (they were bent closed and no matter how hard I tried I could NOT get it open for a Day Use person who was trying to abide by the “don’t leave food in your auto” laws.  (Hey Johnny!)

Our Digs

Lake George was supposed to open up on June 1st.  That got bumped to end of June.  Then it got bumped again to “mid-July”.  A lot had to happen between the day we applied to be Camp Hosts to the day we got ourselves settled up there.  I think CLM runs 12 different sites and they are doing their best to get them all open (refer to the paragraph above).  Actual humans have to get things done and there is only so much time in a day (and Mother Nature doesn’t really care about routines, schedules or plans).  Everyone with reservations had them cancelled (for the reservable sites) until the 27th of July.  I was told that they were all notified but of course there are people that do not read their mail and showed up with their entire rig and families to be turned away.  It would make sense that there would be emotions pouring all over.  Guess what: the CLM workers had to take that pain and they just kept working as hard as possible to get the place open.  
Which brings me to THE PEOPLE running the camp sites at CLM.  Seriously COOL PEOPLE that just want one thing: you to have a great experience.  I’m not kidding either.  I’m still learning the ropes and the rules and expectations but the seasoned men and women I’ve met have been SO HELPFUL getting us rolling.

Our Boss: Dillon

Service and Maintenence Team:  Mike, Justice and James

D/Ops Manager (I’m still learning): Cindy 

Recycleables Manager: Wendy (I think)

June Lake Host: Karen

Coldwater Camp (I think) Host: Betsy 

Lake Mary Host:  Mona

We met the Operations Manager for INYO (Justin) back in April when we came up to see about what things looked like (and it was covered in snow and we snowshoed out to Lake Mary. 

Dillon visited us to get us rolling.  Cindy gave us all of our paperwork and also helped Dillon give us quick training so we could open.  At 3pm on July 14th we were allowed to have a camper!  Our FIRST camper!  It was sincerely exhilarating.    

We have one book to read between the two of us and it is about 3 inches thick of rules, guides, tips…etc.  Randy finished it on Day 2 in between helping people and our tasks.   I am mid way through it as of yesterday.  
OUR ROUTINE

We need to make rounds in the camp three times every day.  Depending on the circumstances (like a bear came around on our first and third day) we do this at 7:00am, 2:00pm and 7:00pm.   We cannot work more than three hours each and it is a scramble to make that happen.  I think the biggest task is maintaining good relations with the campers answering questions.  We also get people from the Day Use Only area coming over with TONS of questions.   

I don’t have it memorized but our goal is to work with the US Forest Service to help the citizens enjoy this beautiful park. People need to feel welcome!  That means having awesome conversations with anyone and everyone that wanders to our trailer.  I think I’m going to go into town and pick up a few area maps or something to help them find the trails (we are no experts on these trails at all…and we got lost (that pic at the top is of Randy trying to figure out how to get us to Crystal Lake…the trails still have snow covering them).

People are up here to camp, fish, hike, picnic and enjoy the weather. 

BEARS!

Our first night (July 14th) we had a bear sighting by a camp guest in the morning.

We were told a few stories about how bears 🐻 behave in these parts and they were PROVEN last night.

A lady was making bacon for her family on the grill and a bear walked into her camp site and up to the grill and took all the bacon and at it right there while she was frozen.

A family was eating their dinner at Lake Mary and a bear came up (without Reservations!) and ate all of their food while they screamed and yelled (and probably took their phones out taking pics) helplessly.  That was at dinner time!

Last night at about 7:00pmwe had done our final rounds and I was preparing dinner.  We planned to eat our on our picnic table with a fire going.  There was a Father and Son that had joined us from Germany and did not speak a lot of English.  When I checked them in I noticed they did not have a lot of food and I thought they might be hungry.   Randy encouraged me to walk up and invite them over for dinner so I started up the hill to their site (which is #8, the best view of the lake).

Lake George Campground Map
I was about halfway up and it was dusk.  I was wearing my progressive glasses, not my contact lenses.  Distance isn’t the greatest. Dusk doesn’t help either.   The moon was out and all I heard was the flip and flop of my sandals.  I breathed in deep enjoying the space and glancing around the sites as I passed them.  Then I heard it, “GET OUT OF HERE!!” Over and over.  Site 10 (at the top of the campground) nicknamed “Utah” (he was a dad from Utah) was dealing with a bear blowing through their site toward my German Family site! 

I stopped and tried to remember WHAT TO DO.  Mike (maintenance) had just told me what to do but I was panicking and could not remember.  I saw the shadow of the bear moving along the ridge toward my other sites.  CRAP!!!  I had to protect my people! But HOW!?  I squinted again toward where the yelling was coming from and realized it was only 30 yards away from me.  I could not turn and run away (but boy did I want to).  Then it hit me:  MAKE NOISE.  They don’t like it (and I’m sure it is more like a mosquito buzzing around them because technically they could squish us like bugs) and move on.  This was a new bear just recently kicked out by its mama and trying to survive I was told later.  

Site #8 Lake George Mammoth Lakes. Tent only. First come, first serve. View of Crystal Crag. DOESN’T SUCK!!
This is right before I walked up to Site 8.
One of my MOST IRRITATING qualities is that I can make noise.  I learned how to whistle and it impresses (read: irritates) anyone directly in front of me.  I began to whistle over and over to warn Randy and hopefully help get the bear moved on.  I was really worried it would decide to head in my direction then I’d have to figure out what to do next (stand there and whistle?).  I heard Utah yelling at the other sites to STAY IN YOUR TENT over and over.  In a flash I realized that a tent was really not much of a protective dwelling – especially if there was food in it!  Those bears have a keen sense of smell and you really can’t outsmart them. 
Then the bear disappeared over the side of the mountain toward the lake.  I ran up to the site and talked to Utah.  He was one of the campers that was disappointed he’d missed the last bear pass through (it was a rumor).  He wanted some ACTION and he got it!  I think he slept better than any other night satisfied he’d gotten his wish.   I approached Site #8.  “My German Friends!  Are you OK!?” I yelled out.  There was the sound of a zipper and out popped Dad.  They were fine (whew).  I asked if they were hungry and that I had extra dinner if they wanted some but they’d eaten and were just settling down for the night.  Well OK then, everything was good (except my heart was racing from all of it.

Well, that’s the latest (as of last night) and I’m sure I’ve missed a lot.

We are on a break in town and I’m sitting at the public library using the wifi trying to get things updated on my phone through iCloud which has been a complete JOKE. 

I sent out the beginning of my Wanderlust Leaf envelopes.  Please let me know if you got yours.  I sent out a bunch of post cards and letters over the past two weeks but I have no idea if people are getting them.  The Post Office here has low ratings and all of the reviews are because they lose things.  Fingers crossed my stuff wasn’t lost!   I can’t even remember who was in my last batch of post cards:  JK? Neema? Anitha? Manzoor?
EXERCISE

Running at 9,000 ft elevation is a REALITY ADJUSTMENT.  We are getting up early every day to squeeze in a little true heart-pumping exercise.  

We ran from Lake George to Lake Mary and were going to head into town (go right) but there were three deer on the path on Lake Mary Road so we turned left toward Horseshoe Lake.  Getting up and out before 6:00am helps you see some pretty amazing stuff.  

We hiked toward Crystal Lake (photo above) in the afternoon and got lost plus we had to hurry back to get our final walk through of the site done.  AND mosquitos were suddenly buzzing around.

We rode to Horseshoe Lake and tried to ride Mammoth Lake Pass but it was WAY too technical for me and ruddy so we opted to do the Horshoe Lake path.  It was covered with snow, water crossings AND on our way in a hawk dive-bombed Randy coming INCHES from his head as we rode past.  I could NOT believe what I was seeing!   When we finished that out-and-back we did some push-ups on a log in the empty parking lot (and helped a lady that let her dogs off leash and they were running around in those dead trees…which are all dying because the CO2 is elevated in this area…pets have to be careful!).


IN CLOSING…FOR NOW…

This has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

You can do this too.

No matter what your circumstances there are plenty of roads to travel and places to explore.  Don’t wait until you are too old, too weak, to tired…DO IT NOW and feel the energy of this beautiful planet fill in so much good space and squeeze out the negativity!

Do things because you want to, not because of someone else’s ego!  That’s key in my opinion.   Read or listen to (even better) Stuart Wilde.  He is a philosopher with a great accent and an even greater sense of humor.

Currently we are slotted to work until our trip to Ireland which is mid-September.  Our pets will be living with their Aunt Cherril in Simi Valley while we are away. 

That’s the plan as of today and it isn’t solid and it might change and I’m OK with that.

I love and miss all of my family and friends!

🙂 xo Sarita
PS: I’m posting this and I think it will go to Facebook.  I cannot get to Facebook at all and only get an hour here and there when we come into town for groceries.  SO: if you want me to see your comment please leave it on my blog here.   Also, our address is still the same.  PO Box 9158 Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546-9158  (make sure you leave the -9158 on the zip).  

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We Have GOOD NEWS!

​Just when we were about to kill each other we got a fantastic phone call from our soon-to-be “Boss”.

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve had a boss.  This is going to be interesting.  I know I’m a great employee so that part I’m not worried about.  I guess I’m worried about knowing what is needed from us so we can be sure to provide it.  Our motto has always been “Underpromise and overdeliver”.

I have gone from 5 bug bites to 9 as of 4:30pm.  We just put Frontline on all the pets and now have the fun job of clearing out the house.  Yes, it is awful but it is what I signed up for.   Just found out from a professional exterminator that my bites are mosquitos.  Well that’s a relief since we have 27 feet of HOUSE to live in and fumigating really is not an option.

I am preparing 25 magic envelopes tonight.  I only had enough budgeted to print 25 copies of my newest HAND DRAWN newsletter called The Wanderlust Leaf.   I’ve had no internet (stable anyway) so I have spent time just doodling out a fun little daddy that I hope to continue.  No excuses unless I run out of Sharpies and/or Ticonderoga pencils.

Top priority (check your mailbox from the US Postal Service) are people leaving comments about my posts on my actual blog (not on Facebook) that I have a home address for.  This idea was not in the family finances or budget – it costs 30-cents to print ONE piece of paper.  There is no other printing place in all of Bishop, so we are stuck.  I will say that Alex’s Printing on Main Street is a great place though.  I got a lot of help making sure my prints were perfect.

My newest creation: The Wanderlust Leaf!

Randy is currently cleaning out all of our delicious plumbing because WE GOT THE GREEN LIGHT TO HEAD TO MAMMOTH!!

We have a few questions still to make sure we leave at the right time but overall we are seriously excited to move a step further on our original plan.  

Just last night we had no confirmation and were trying to figure out how we would make this happen.  Living in Bishop is NOT ideal for our pets and that is our biggest concern.   It was great news to hear from our boss.

So, the best way to hear about what is happening is going to be this blog.  I hope you subscribe to it if you are interested.  

If you want to get a copy of our first Wanderlust Leaf please read my blog and leave me comments.  I will read and reply to each of them when I have internet.  Promise. 

Thank you friends and family!

Randy, Sarita, Kona, Zoey and Piper

From Bishop, California

It’s Amanda Shoemaker’s Birthday Today!

It’s July 13th and that means WE CELEBRATE our beautiful, talented and kind daughter Amanda Nicole Shoemaker!

We will never forget the fun memories with you and all of the goodness you brought to our lives.

I am Amanda’s Step-Mom.  One of the toughest jobs I’ll ever sign up for willingly.  Started the job in October 2006.

She taught me a lot.  She opened my eyes up to a whole other world filled with energy and life that made her bubble and enjoy her friends and family.

There are so many belly busting hilarious moments with her in the short amount of time we spent in each other’s lives.

We spent her last birthday pigging out at BJ’s digging into a pazookie (which is a chocolate chip cookie baked fresh then topped with ice cream…not invented by Jenny Craig).  It was DELICIOUS.

We celebrated her 17th and sang Happy Birthday just like we do with every birthday person in our lives.

Happy Birthday To You

Happy Birthday To You

Happy Birthday Dear Amanda

Happy Birthday To You!

We miss you so much but you are on our minds every single day.

I often find myself wondering if you are near us watching our lives unfold.

I also imagine you are somewhere special welcoming the friends and family we lose and helping make them feel comfortable (as corny as that sounds).  

So much in my life today is a direct reflection of you! 

J-Diamond RV Resort, Bishop CA

Hangin’ out with The Winterburns!
Most people wouldn’t know this place was here, pretty sure. If they do know then it would come with a stigma, raised eyebrow and immediate judgmental opinion when you mention it is where you are “staying”.

The J-Diamond RV Resort is nestled behind the infamous (since 1938 a billboard boasts along Highway 395) Erick Schat’s Bakkery.
The Host we met (Rachel) was super nice. Our spot was designated and I got a little excited when she told us to go to #99. (Like I said in my last post, I just like that number a lot and it felt “lucky”.)

Distracted by the baking heat, we did not notice much of our surroundings immediately. We were eager to park the thing and get our space organized so we could go to dinner with Rob and Jennie in Paradise.

PARKING/BACKING THE TRAILER IN

There is a GIANT TREE (I’m gonna guess 20 foot circumference) tree between our spot and the family on the north side.  
We have a big concrete slab to call our “porch” which is nice.

On the south side is a trailer that is being picked apart by birds thread by thread. I’m gonna guess the last time it moved was a year ago, maybe more.  

To the west of us is a row of RV’s and a CREEK that is flowing madly and a family of ducks enjoy. 

On the east side is a row of permanent type trailers and their yards are packed with their belongings. Directly behind us is a garden! In it is a mysterious bottle-like contraption.

The people have been really cool and wander through our backyard to and from each other’s rigs. One guy came buzzing up during our arrival in a monster rail offering help.  

Two tries to get safely past the giant tree then PRECISION. Dang!

Randy parked the Lorax LIKE A BOSS. He is definitely getting better and better at this task!! So cool.  

My job was to help get the “arrival” checklist done helping Randy stabilize and make sure we were as even as possible. We did that quickly leaving the pets in the truck with the AC blasting and shade.

Next I had to confront the absolute MESS of the interior. I have a great system now in my kitchen to make sure nothing is broken or destroyed. It worked.  

Uhhh…things seem to have shifted.

Having to re-arrange all of the over-weight area ruined my plan so I began to dig out the items one by one. Once that was done and the power turned on (listening for that popping sound indicating our surge protector was humming) we cranked the AC, opened up the slide-out and brought the pets in.  

We were both drenched in sweat and hurrying to be ready to go to our dinner date at the Winterburn’s house (which we did not know how far away we would be driving).

I was next assigned to getting the water set up. Rachel (our Camp Host) mentioned we would have cable but I discovered we did not bring a wire to go from the cable box to our trailer – oh well.
The last day we watched cable TV was July 27th, 2014! I would not miss having cable really so no biggie.

I had to “plug us in”. That tall structure in the center was PACKED with spider webs and I had to go upside down to find the 30 amp plug. IN THE SUN.
The backside of the TT. My work area IN THE BLAZING HOT SUN.
Our neighbor on the east. We met him and he is a really cool man.
What a disaster! Until you realize IT IS ALL WE OWN so it isn’t THAT much to clean up!
Piper actually seems to enjoy when it’s a complete mess.

Got the water rolling and then we took showers to cool off and prepare the pet’s dinners.  

We began our drive to Jennie and Rob’s place noticing the mountains on our left. It was dry as a bone (something we were getting used to in Simi Valley, California) and definitely “high desert” terrain.

The neighborhood they live in is called Paradise. When we walked through the front door and out on to the deck we could see why. There was a slight haze from the Diaz Fire lingering but through it we could see The Buttermilk’s and Mt Tom. AH-MAZE-ING.  

Jennie is a yoga professional (she has studios in Simi Valley!) and hosts a retreat in Bishop for yoga teachers. The house is zenfully calm, peaceful and serene. The views just add to it. I imagined having a cup of coffee in the morning then working on yoga all day. Ahhhhh….

There were three treats at the house: their pets!  

Willy
 

Juno
 
Their neighborhood survived a terrible 500 acre fire in late 2016 (Owens River Fire) but from the deck we only saw a little haze from the Diaz Fire currently still happening. 

A sublime view from Paradise.
Time flew by too quickly as we dined on Jennie’s home made vegan fare and it was scrumptious! She should open a diner. Yes! A Yoga Diner. Is there one in existence? 

 
We talked about so much and learned a lot about each other – we have a lot more in common which I thought was neat.
After dessert we headed back home to find the pets happy to see us (when aren’t they!?).
The drive home was so peaceful.  Rob and Jennie were our first visit on our journey away from all that we have known and relied on as a home base.  We are grateful and thankful for that time together.

Arriving at The J-Diamond in the darkness was a bit spooky.  The number of trailers (which range in age and aesthetics) lined up around us was awkward and not comfortable.  The heat was still pouring off the ground and buildings.

Randy did his usual “security walk around”. We agreed to sleep with the AC on all night. This is something we both really don’t like at all.

By 9pm we had climbed into bed for our first night in a strange new place and were fast asleep with full happy bellies.
It was a decent Day 1 on our official Wanderlust Journey.

Maiden Voyage #3

Randy on the 3rd lap through the CAT scales. Embarrassing!!

LEAVING SANTA ROSA 

This is our ACTUAL lift off into our 71717 Plan: full wanderlust.

We spent all of June “living” in our travel trailer. We had our house on the market and needed to have a place to go during showings so we just booked a few weeks at the nearby RV Park (which I loved). Tapo Canyon RV Park was excellent and the hosts there are super cool. Tammy and Ed gave us a lot of instruction and guidance answering any and all questions we had.   
I’ll get a post up on that experience later. I’m catching up on my blogging with extremely slow internet speeds plus it is so hot I can barely think.

Destination: Bishop California as a temporary pit-stop on the way to Mammoth Lakes.

Plan: Swing by the CAT Scales then head to Bishop straight (no stopping for food). Maybe one pit stop for gas and pet time to go potty. Arrive at 2pm and get settled in. See if there is any room at Brown’s Campground (they come highly recommended).  Dinner date with The Winterburn’s at 5:30pm.
.

What actually happened aka REALITY

Did you know that a truck towing a travel trailer has three axels. Steer Axel, Drive Axel and Trailer Axel. Joe Stayton and Randy went through the ideal weight on each of these axels. 3900, 4050 and 8800 respectively. In March 2017 we weighed the Lorax 2 and Tundra.

The weight limits are for safety purposes and if you know me, I’m safety minded as a natural instinct. We weighed in OVER on the truck/trailer connection – by 400 lbs! Yikes.  

We are officially hanging with THE TRUCKERS. Yeah!!
The scales do not lie!
 
Starting approximately 6 months ago we began reading blogs about towing to make sure we could actually do it. Our truck (Toyota Tundra can haul 9,000). We have kept it maintained by a very professional mechanic (Mark’s Independent Service in Chatsworth) named Mark Goldsmith. We got our tires from Ralph and Steve at Firestone on LA Ave. Both of these businesses can be trusted completely (if you are looking).

The biggest issue Randy was grappling with was the weight going DOWNHILL. We have a braking system on the trailer (which is good) and our truck breaks. The plan to head up to Mammoth should be fine. Elevation changes from 4100 to 9000 at Lake George. That is a lot of climbing and eventual descending.

We got the green light from a lot of professional and experienced RV friends. On the flip side, 100% of the fellow RV’ers we spoke to (meeting for the first time) had no idea what their weight was and universally “didn’t want to know…it’s probably over the limit” was the response. Are you kidding me? That’s crazy talk in my opinion. I’m a very safety-motivated person.

Luckily it was Sunday and no one was around. We were in Sun Valley California where it appears the local government does NOT care how shabby the streets are – it was awful. Smelly, dirty and unsafe feeling.

We screwed up getting the correct weight twice and definitely pissed the operator off. *gulp… sorry!*

That took us an hour and we were already sort of on each other’s nerves. 

FINALLY, ON THE ROAD
Kona and Zoey are seasoned to ride and get the entire backseat of our truck. It’s like a couch it is so large.

Piper, on the other hand, doesn’t always dig it at first and is a bit nervous clinging onto things and meowing. It took about an hour after leaving the scales for her to chill out and find her “happy place” in between us on the arm rest. She got up and wandered around investigating off and on but for the most part just slept.

​We had to stop to get gas and let the dogs go pee. The first rest stop we drove into had a giant grassy field with an enormous sign that said KEEP DOGS OFF GRASS. Where are the dogs supposed to go? Oh, the baking heat dirt area. What a crock of BS. I have my eyes opened up more and more with the ignorance humans have toward animals in general but this one is ridiculous. A dog needs to be on cool grass compared to boiling hot dirt. Who MAKES these sites?! I’d guess a really crappy dog owner or person that does not own a dog or any other pet. I made a pact / wish to myself that I’d help create SAFE PLACES for dogs to visit at Rest Stops.

I will say that the CRAPPY DOG OWNERS (the ones that do not pay attention to their pets because they are on their phone so they don’t see them pooping, that do not carry dog waste bags to pick up after their pet, that let their pets walk across boiling hot surfaces, that leave their dog in the car so they can run into the store ‘for a sec’, that use their dog for entertainment of others) make life difficult for pets. Personally I’d lobby for stiffer penalties on any abuse of animals.

ARRIVAL TIME! HELLO BISHOP CALIFORNIA!



It was over 100 degrees when we spotted J-Diamond RV Ranch and Mobile Home Park.  

The entry is right next to Schat’s Bakkery down a long driveway. At the stop sign is a small office and where we checked in meeting Rachel the Camp Host (one of 3).

She assigned us to Site 99 and I admit I got a little happy about it because I just like that number.

We were all anxious to get OUT of the truck after the 5 hours of driving.

We left the AC cranking in the truck with the pets while I held my breath at the challenge that faced Randy in backing our trailer into its new space.


We had 25 feet between a tree (VERY LARGE) and the next door neighbor’s rig. The neighbors were home which meant we were the latest hot entertainment item on the agenda to watch.  

Wife “helps” husband navigate into trailer space.

What could possibly go wrong?

This is the TREE we had to maneuver around to park.

The Day Before The Day We Go

We are READY TO GO.

Lake George may not be ready for us, but we’re driving to Mammoth Lakes tomorrow with our pets.

We may not even have a job right away but we decided, as we have been able to just not stress about much lately, SO WHAT.

The first stop is Bishop California and we’ve got a RV park waiting (thanks Rachel!) right behind Schatt’s Bakery I guess.

Today we visited with a few important people to personally tell them good bye.  One of our favorite people, John from NutriShop, jaw jacked about being a Small Business Owner and all he has accomplished.  PLUG: Shop local and shop with John – go INTO the shop and meet this kind man.

As a side note: WE DID NOT SELL 805 BOOT CAMP TO ANYONE but we’ve heard plenty of people have been told we have (or led to believe we have sold it).  We did not sell it ON PURPOSE.  More on that in another blog post down the road.  That was quite an eye-opener of an experience (lessons, lessons, lessons).

We decorated Amanda’s gravesite as well.

Her birthday is July 13th.  If you know her and would like to leave her flowers on that day PLEASE DO!  We’d love to see pics.  Her resting place is Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetary Spot 28 in the Vista Heights area.  22601 Lassen, Chatsworth CA.

This is our last visit for a while and it is bittersweet.  I asked Randy how he was managing this part of our plan and he is definitely going to miss the closeness that we have to her.  

About 3 months ago someone told us about Stuart Wilde.  I’ll try to remember that person’s name – they deserve a mention here. THANK YOU so much because we listened to him (he is a philosopher) and for me (anyway) it has become easier to manage the loss of my loved ones.  On the topic of religion I’m pretty open to understanding the theories and facts.  One thing I found extra helpful from Stuart was the concept of God and Energy.  The concept of godlike force working around us makes sense to me.  I believe my mom is with me every day as an energy and force to keep me on the path I’m on and help make good choices, steer clear of the people that do not want me to be happy (yep, they’re out there and they’re easy to spot now for me).

More things…

We made another trip to our storage unit.

There were a few other errands around town we wanted to complete for efficient storage in the TT (aka The Lorax 2).

It’s time to ROLL…like for REAL.

There are so many people to thank for all that we have experienced and what has pushed us to trust ourselves and our crazy plan.  You have helped us more than you know.  I think I’ll begin putting names of people that come to mind on each post I make.  They are in no particular order and they may come up more than once.  In some way you have given me a reason, push, guide, inspiration to trust in myself which, in turn, has given me courage to leap into this unknown world of WANDERLUST.  

Today I am thankful for:

Rick Montejano

Adelita Alvarez

Morgan Shoemaker

Claire Stachelrodt

Jordan S

Missy and Joe Stayton

Mary May

 

 

Good People Should Not Die Young (ESPECIALLY)

Open Letter To The Entity Taking My Friends And Family From My Life:

Too young.

Too young.

Too young.

I am still sitting in the reality of losing one of the most kind, loving, friendly, funny and GOOD friend just days ago.

Collapsed at work.  Autopsy has not confirmed (to his family’s satisfaction) what exactly happened.

I’m sad to a point that I want to boil.  No, I’m not sad, I’m mad.  I’m pissed and angry and wish I could change what has happened.  I also feel helpless.

Today (or was it last night…life blurs when you have three camps every day and see the same 100+ people every day at different times of the day) I was jaw jacking with a person I have opened my deepest feelings to.  WHY is this happening?  I can barely handle losing so many people.  WHY!?  

I find myself staring out the window while my husband drives wondering WHAT IS THE POINT.  Why are we here wandering this earth?  What is the reason we drag ourselves through muck and pain? Why are there people that are total evil mother fluckers that should die but the GOOD ONES go first?

A lot of people have a faith in their lives.  That is not how I was raised and maybe it is why I feel so much ANGER with no one to point it at when someone good passes away.  

Take the asshole mother fluckers to the next place!!  

LEAVE MY GOOD FRIENDS AND GOOD FAMILY MEMBERS ALONE!!

I believe that my friend Dave is still near me, near his family as a spirit floating around wishing he could change what has happened.  Things happened in perfect order with Dave.  He was a planner and do’er.  He ran 100 mile races AS A HOBBY.  His diet was healthy.  He gave to so many that needed.  He took care of more (and I’m sure we’ll find out who else and what else as the days roll by).

My dear friend Mary passed away way too young.  I wrote a post about her.  I think of her every single day and the stern advice she gave me.  It is partly why I feel so willing to get rid of everything I own to leap into our new life. 

My step-daughter Amanda passed away at 17 years old.  17.  It is unexplainable how this could possibly be OK.  It’s unfair and I will not change my mind.

My mom.  I NEED MY MOM!!!!!!!  Mom’s need to be around until their kids are old farts.  They need to experience the love and life their kids will work hard to give them.  They deserve it.  There is NO WAY anyone could change my mind on this.

I’m not going to continue.  

Just know:  I think it is completely UNFAIR and CRUEL to everyone to take the good people in my life.  

There are plenty of awful people that don’t care a hoot about anyone but themselves that should go to a new place.

Rest in PEACE Dave Liston.   June 15th, 2017.

I don’t know where you are but my wish is that you are in a good place where you are being cared for and doted on.  Where there are all of the dogs that have passed on.  Where there are plenty of trails for you to run on.  Where there are a few spreadsheets too (because I think you actually loved working and doing what you did because you were damn good at it).
Rest In PEACE Katie Jenks.  July 5th, 2017.